Monday, December 19, 2011

Becoming a Child at Christmastime

I have many wonderful Christmas memories, but the majority of them are from when I was a child.

I try to recreate my own Christmassy tradition every year and although it’s fun, it's just not the same. I may not feel that ‘feeling’ until I have children of my own and I can become a kid again with them by sharing the things that made Christmas exciting for me and creating new traditions with them. Maybe I just expect too much from this holiday. That’s a problem I need to work on. Expecting too much out of everything. Let’s see if I can work on that in 2012.

Some of my best Christmas indulgences and memories include Charlie Brown; Santa (aka Father Christmas in England) who I sometimes wish still existed to me; The smell of cookies baking in the oven, sometimes burnt baked cookies that my mom left in the oven a little longer than they needed, which still managed to come out tasting better than ever; Sitting on the floor in the lobby of my church, wrapping presents for the Angel Tree Project (An organization that donates Christmas presents to children whose parents are serving time in prison); Times Square Church’s Christmas production of 1990… or 91. I can’t remember which year exactly, but it was my favorite Christmas production; Singing Christmas carols and handing out candy canes at Rockefeller Center; Christmas fruit cake that my grandmother baked and sent to us from England, which I ate while reading Heidi; And last but not least, hot chocolate!

Of course there was much more to these memories; these are just some of the memory sparking activities I participated in at Christmastime.

Aside from still watching Charlie Brown every year, one of my favorite childish Christmas indulgences is The Snowman. It is so British. I guess you can take the Brit out of London, but…

My mom introduced me to The Snowman when I was about four-years-old. The Snowman is a story about a boy who builds a snowman and when he goes to sleep that night, the snowman comes to life and takes the little boy on a journey to his snowman land, introducing the little boy to his snowman friends and he even gets to meet Father Christmas. There are no words in the entire movie, and I love that even though you get the story visually, everyone can still come to their own conclusion.

I almost lost my mind when I found that The Snowman available on DVD and, on two separate occasions, I asked two people to buy it for me for Christmas, but neither of the two delivered. Maybe they thought The Snowman wasn’t a good enough Christmas gift because they both got me something more expensive than the ten dollar DVD I asked for. I am very easy to please.

Eventually, I ended up buying The Snowman for myself and I finally watched it last winter. Oh, the nostalgia! And this Christmas, I plan on putting on my red and pink striped Victoria’s Secret thermal pajamas, making a cup of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and watching my wordless cartoon again. So what if I’m 32. I love taking part in the things that were fun for me when I was little. It brings me back to a time when life was much simpler.

To becoming a child again at Christmastime!

~Louise C.

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